Type 2 diabetes
Furthermore, Heslinga studied images (or fundus photographs) of the retina. “Previously, studies have shown that automatic image analysis can be used to check whether the retina has been damaged, especially if the patient has had diabetes for an extended period without successful treatment,” says Heslinga. “However, at that point, the damage to the retina should be quite visible, and so far, no studies have been able to automatically detect early stages of diabetes.”
Heslinga and his collaborators created an artificial intelligence model that can distinguish between retinal images from people with type 2 diabetes and images from those with normal glucose metabolism, and even prediabetes. “This was only possible thanks to the collaboration with The Maastricht Study, which has over 50,000 photos available for the training and testing of his model,” the researcher adds.
Heslinga’s techniques still need extensive clinical testing and validation before they can be used in hospitals, but he is optimistic that in the near future artificial intelligence will be supporting ophthalmologists in many ways.
“I envision a future where my models and techniques play a key role in treating corneal and retinal issues in countless patients around the world,” says Heslinga. “These are new tools to help future eye doctors do the very best for patients, and it’s all about using a little AI for the eye.”
Source: Eindhoven University of Technology
Source: Healthcare in Europe